Coronavirus support for businesses

What financial support is out there for businesses during coronavirus? Read up on all the measures out there to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID19. Updated 28th April 08:52

Government grants & financial support

  1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: allows any employer in the country to apply for a grant via HMRC to cover 80% of employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. This will be backdated to March 1st and will be open until the end of June, which will be extended for longer if it is necessary. Firms applying from 20th April should receive their payments from HMRC within 6 days.
  2. Small Business Grant Funding of £10,000: The Government have announced that Businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief will receive grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.
  3. Support for businesses that pay business rates: Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  4. Extended business rates discount for leisure, catering, tourism and retail: The existing Retail Discount scheme has been extended and eligible businesses in the leisure, catering, tourism and retail sectors who have a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% discount for the 2020/2021 financial year. The exact eligibility for the extended relief has not yet been set, and further government guidance is required before accounts can be updated, but will be subject to State Aid limits.

Statutory Sick Pay

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave. Have you taken a look at business protection for key workers and all staff? Now is also a good time to review a business’s staff benefits package.

Loans & financial support

  1. Bounce Back Loans: From Monday 4th May a business can apply for a bounce back loan of a value of 25% of turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000. Listening to feedback from businesses the loan’s interest will be paid for by the government and applications will be via short, easy to fill in forms.
  2. The Future Fund: Worth £500m, the Future Fund will make sure high growth companies across the UK can continue to access the investment they need during the crisis. Launching in May, it will provide early stage companies with convertible loans between £125,000 and £5m. The fund will match the investments made by private investors in early stage businesses on terms that protect the UK tax payer.
  3. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance. Delivered by the British Business Bank, this will launch early next week to support small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.  Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments. Your business will be eligible if it is UK based, with turnover of no more than £41 million per annum and your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria. The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website.
  4. Deferring next quarter of VAT payments: No business will pay VAT from now until the end of June and businesses will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills.
  5. Business Rate Holidays: Government will introduce a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
  6. Support for businesses paying tax: All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.

Self-employed income support

The government will pay self-employed people affected by Coronavirus a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 per month. This will be open to people for at least 3 months to anyone with trading profits up to £50,000, as long as the majority of income is self-employment. Only those with a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply. People should expect to access this scheme no later than June and HMRC will even contact self-employed people directly with a form to fill in. Additionally, self-employed people will also be able to access the business interruption loans.  Self assessment income tax payments due in July can be deferred to the end of January next year and self employed people can now access Universal Credit in full. This means that a self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children, living in the social rented sector can receive welfare support of up to £1,800 a month

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